August 28, 2009

(The) Final Destination

**The Warning. This movie may contain way more instances of the definite article than most people would deem appropriate. You are the warned.**

The Final Destination, not to be confused with Final Destination 1, 2, or 3: Electric Boogaloo, is the last (?) of a way too long series of teenagers-versus-fate horror movies. Now, I am the sort of movie watcher who appreciates a good scare. I really do. I once screamed so loud watching Ju-On that if I woke my parents up, which wouldn't be such a big deal if they lived less than 3500 miles away from here. However, the first thing anyone watching The Final Destination should know is that there is a difference between a legitimate scare and objects flying at your face like a Eli Roth version of Spy Kids 3D. The Final Destination fits into the latter category, and suffers greatly for it.

But before I get too deep into the movie's sorry excuse for a premise, let's talk about the definite article "the." The definite article in English is used for many purposes. According to the OED, you can put the definite article before a proper noun, natural phenomenon, ship, building, time, point of the compass, branch of endeavor, field of study, or something well-known or unique. A Final Destination movie does not qualify for any of these things, except possibly the natural phenomenon of me puking my guts out in the 4th stall of the theater's men's room after having to sit through one. The Final Destination is simply "Final Destination 4" uncreatively retitled to attract the people who had scoffed at the first two sequels like Republicans at the prospect of actually reading the healthcare reform bill. I don't know what team of creative geniuses came up with the idea of this inane retitling, but my guess is that it was the same great minds who brought us "2 Fast 2 Furious" and "Bring It On 5: Fight to the Finish."

I wish I could say Final Destination 4 is alone in it's badness or it's gimmicky 3D effects, but that would be a boldfaced lie. Final Destination 3 had a similar gimmick because it's DVD had a choose-your-own-adventure aspect to it where you could decide when main characters met their untimely deaths. Final Destination 2 also had some 3D parts and still managed to suck worse than Final Destination 1, which didn't have anything going for it except an audience of Jagermeister-shooting, extreme-cheetos-eating frat boys who would root for anything that caused people to die, even metaphysical concepts. In fact, the only good Final Destination I can think of is the one where Fox and Falco get to fight with no items and no level hazards, and even that one is annoying after about twenty minutes.

And I wasn't the only person disappointed with this seemingly final Final Destination. Those same frat boys that made this movie franchise famous left the theater with me in a rage that would have made Hitler look like a calm, rational old man. This movie falls short of the line even if you're one of the millions of Americans who have seen more Michael Bay movies than Akira Kurosawa ones and are proud of that fact.

So I'll leave it this way. If you are extremely desperate to watch something in 3D, go out and find a theater that is still playing G-Force. If you can't find one, go rent Spy Kids 3D and put it into your DVD player. Failing that, just stare at a wall cross-eyed until it feels like the imperfections in the paint are popping out at you. Whatever you do, don't waste your cash on this, even for a midnight show. Not recommended.


  1. After a fiendish start, filmmakers James Wong and Glen Morgan approach their task with all the subtlety of a hammer to the head (or a knife to the gut, or an ax to the back).